Why you should have and use a headlamp?
A great headlamp is a trusty tool everyone should invest in. From backpackers to dog walkers to seasonal campers, a hands-free headlamp is an essential piece of gear and go-to gadget for those who love the great outdoors.
However, unless you know what to look for, honing in on the perfect headlamp can be a challenge, especially with a mass of technical data to divulge, and more choices on the market than you deemed possible.
With this in mind, we’ve done the hard work for you, putting today’s top headlamps to the test.
There are a lot of times when you are doing something and you just do not see, to have enough hands to carry everything and hold everything together. If you ever have to get something done in the dark, you can feel the pain of having to hold on to light to allow you to see whatever it is that you are doing and at the same time, be able to use your remaining hand to try to work on whatever it is that you need to get done. That can be quite frustrating as most of the time, you need both your hands in order for you to accomplish whatever it is that you are trying to do.
This is the reason that devices like the headlamp are very handy, instead of having to go through the hassle of using your hands to hold them and cover them to wherever it is you are trying to light, you get the convenience of having them worn on your head, attached to where your forehead is to allow you to have a right beam of light to whatever it is you are trying to see. Of course, there are a number of these products that you can find in the market, but you are determined the best headlamp there is.
Making a choice can be tough though when there is so many headlamps reviews that you need to look into. You will want to find out which one of these choices would make the best-led headlamp. You know you would not want to miss out on several led headlamp reviews that are around as this should help make it possible for you to take a closer look at your choices and the features that they have. There are a number of things that you need to look closely into before you choose since you know not every single one of your choices will be right for you.
Best headlamps of 2021
To make sure that you do get the best headlamps in the market today, we have decided to compile a list of the tops ten headlamps that are out there. We include their details and the features that they have to allow you to determine which among these choices will work best for the purposes that you will be using them for.
For amateurs and camper connoisseurs, a bright headlamp is one piece of gear you should never take for granted.
1. LE LED Headlamp
If you are indeed looking for the best headlamp, then this offering from LE is something that you would certainly want to set the top of your list know for the sufficient brightness that it provides this is one headlamp that can be expected to have a beam distance of more than 20 feet. This is when the device is set on the brightest setting. The illuminating area for this unit is actually wide enough to allow one to either work or run with it on.
What one is getting here is a wireless light. This means that if you are a fan of reading a book every night, you no longer have to rely on your lamp to keep your pages illuminated. In fact, you can use this headlamp to allow you to read just about anywhere you want, which makes it a really convenient choice.
This lamp has a durable headband which is elastic too which should make it easier for the wearer to put it on the head while feeling comfortable at the same time. Thanks to the soft bands the wearer will feel comfortable wearing the lamp even for an extended period of time.
This is one lamp that even the kids can actually wear around their head as well. It has two buckles that are adjustable. It is lightweight as well so kids should not have a hard time donning them on their head. The fact that it is waterproof means that it is going to be an even more ideal choice.
2. Aennon Headlamp
If you are looking for top rated headlamps that are sure to help increase your visibility, this is one that you would not want to dare miss out on. This is the best rechargeable headlamp that you can find in the market today, thanks to its hands-free and bright lighting. You will no longer need to have to struggle to hold your flashlight in your hand. Performing the tasks that you need to do in the dark is no longer something that you have to do single-handedly since you can have both hands free with this lamp.
It doesn’t matter if you need a light for close-up viewing or a beam that you can use for long distances. This is a sturdy headlamp that can be tilted up to sixty degrees that will make it possible for you to focus the beam of light wherever it is that you want it to be. There are four light modes that you can use too to ensure that what you are getting is the exact brightness level to allow you to carry on your task with such efficiency.
The best thing about this headlamp is the fact that it is lightweight. So, you do not have to worry about a nagging weight that you might feel on your head when you wear it. It is very comfortable to wear around as well so it is not going to be a problem if you are expected to wear it for an extended period. This is a USB rechargeable lamp so you can now say goodbye to having to buy batteries all the time.
3. Hausbell Outdoor CREE T6
This is our third pick for the best headlamp on the market. The unit has the CREE T6 bulbs that are made from LED. They are highly durable and they are quite brilliant as well. Wearers will love the fact that this is a unit that has adjustable headbands. So, they are sure that they will have something that will feel really comfortable when worn on their head. To ensure that pressure is relieved from the head there are the comfort pads that are incorporated into the design of the band as well.
This is a unit that is water resistant. This means it would be perfect for those activities where you might expect to be dealing with water and moisture now, you can go out and work in the rain, in the dark since you know that you will have a handy bit of light that you can use to allow you to see your way through whatever it is that you are doing.
It is light and to so functional. Expect that you will now have something that you can rely on if you need your two hands-frees when doing something in limited lighting. It is easy to carry too so this would indeed be a reliable and convenient tool that you will certainly want to have handy.
4. Luxolite LED Headlamp
If you ever have to get some work done at night or in places where light may be limited you will certainly need a device that will help boost your visibility as you work. This is by far, the strongest and the brightest headlamp that you can find on the market today. Now, you can enjoy running or your excursion with your pet or those outdoor sports that you love while having both of your hands-frees.
The unit is very easy to use. There are two buttons that you need to push to select whether you would prefer getting a red or a white light. You can set the level of brightness that you will prefer too. You can even choose to prolong the battery life by opting for the right setting depending on your lighting needs.
This is one very lightweight headlamp too. This is a good thing as this means that wearing it around for extended periods would not end up causing you to experience brain squeezing, it is not going to bob around or hang off your head too since it is light and it is properly secured with comfortable bands.
It is very durable and it is waterproof. You can expect your investment for this unit to be quite sound due to the fact that this is one device that is designed to last. You can expect that it is going to be handy out of doors too since it is made waterproof.
5. Shining Buddy Headlamp
This is a head lamp that features 160 lumens. The lamp offers five settings add two switches. You can choose from the white strobe, low beam, high beam, red flashing, and red strobe. The two separate settings are for choosing either white or red light. The pack also includes three AAA batteries.
People will love the fact that this is lightweight, nobody really wants sot be sporting a headlamp that weighs a lot especially if they expect to use it for a longer period of time. It can be inconvenient to have a heavy lighting fixture hanging on your forehead when you could have opted for something lighter and more convenient to wear. This would be the perfect choice for people who love to do some DIY stuff as well as for runners handymen, and runners among others
Now, you get to have access t hands-free light whenever and wherever you need it. The bulb shines ultra bright and is expected to last for up to 100,000 hours. Talk about durability and a worthy investment- this one takes the cake.
Every single one of these lamps is individually tested as a buyer, you get the assurance that what you are taking home with you is one unit which quality is not going to be questionable. It is affordable too. You will really love the fact that there is no need for you to worry about breaking your wallet when you go through the purchase since it is priced just right.
6. InnoGear 5000 Lumen Headlamp
This is a headlamp that offers four working modes. There is the flashing, the low, the middle, and the high modes respectively. This is a headlamp at offer light coming from a LED bulb with 5000 lumens. The unit is powered by two batteries that are rechargeable.
Users of this lamp will love the fact that is can be rotated to 90 degrees. This means that it would be easy to use it around since it is not going to be stuck in one single direction only when used as a lighting tool. It is quite handy too as it can be connected to a USB cable and then used as an emergency power supply for your camera, your phone, and other gadgets that you have which might need emergency juiced when you suddenly run out.
This is one headlamp that is both heatproof and waterproof. This means that you can use it in environments where you might get exposed to the elements. You will not have to constantly worry that it might malfunction or have issues since you know that it is designed to withstand such settings. Thus, making it a really reliable partner when you need to get a lot of work done in the dark out of doors.
The lamp is comfortable when worn around the head. It is light in weight too so, one doesn’t have to constantly worry about a heavy and nagging pressure around the head when wearing it. It is very stable when used as well. The camera so made mainly from rubber and aluminum alloy. This would be great for people who love to go on activities like fishing, running, camping or hiking.
7. GRDE Zoomable LED Headlamp
If you are looking for a super bright headlamp that will make it easier for you to work hands-free with ample lighting in dark settings, this is one unit that you will definitely want to have on your wish list. It features 1800 lumens and has an estimated lifespan of 100,000 approximately.
It is waterproof which makes it ideal for those settings where you might expect to get exposed to moisture or water since you would not have to constantly worry that the lamp might suddenly break down on you because you got it wet.
It is adjustable too. This means that you can have it set to the right direction that you would prefer the light to be beaming at in order for you to grip a proper view and look at whatever direction it is you are trying to focus your sights on. This makes it one of those ideal choices that you would want to have around with you when you go for activities that would require you to use both of your hands.
There is a single button that is used to control the switch to the low output mode the high output, and the strobe mode. It is a zoomable lamp and users will also love the fact that it is not just going to be for one single use alone. It is a multi-function lamp too and can be used not only as a headlamp but also as a waist lamp or as a desk lamp as well. If you are going for a choice that offers versatility, this is certainly one option that you do not dare miss out on.
8. Coast HL7 Focusing 285 Lumen LED Headlamp
This is one headlamp that will give you a device that will offer necessary illumination with its ultra wide beam. It is a very bright headlamp to don around thanks to its 196 lumens of brightness. With this headlamp, you have a tool that you can depend on which is quite useful for almost any kind of application that you will have in mind.
The unit has a spot mode which is quite handy if you need a white light when working on something that requires both of your hands to be free. What is good with this specific model is the fact that the light I this giving off is one that is purely white.
There is also a dimming function for the unit. Users are given the choice to either get it adjusted from 3 lumens up to 196 lumens of brightness. This is a good thing since not a lot of people will want the same steady level of lighting when working on a certain setting. Being adjustable means that they can have the lamp set in such a way where it is giving off just the right amount of light.
Adjustability is not an issue too. The lamp is designed to be adjustable. Users can opt to have it adjusted to fours angles. In addition, this is a stable headlamp so expect that it is going to stay put in the specific angle that you have set it for the entire time.
9. Energizer 3 LED Headlamp
If you are looking for the most useful lighting product out there this is one that you certainly would not want to pass up on. This is a headlamp that is equipped with two light modes and is quite useful for a variety of tasks that you may have in mind.
One of the most notable things about this unit is the fact that it can be pivoted to exactly where you need it. If there are specific angles or parts of the setting that you are working on where you need the light to illuminate directly, it is easy enough to get this headlamp switched to such direction. Controlling the headlamp is easy too thanks to its slide switch feature.
It is one very comfortable headlamp that you can wear around. The head strap is designed with a contemporary style and since it is adjustable you can trust that you will not need to have to constantly worry about the amount of pressure that it might exert on your head while you are wearing it.
It is durable. So, expect that the purchase is something that can last for a considerable time, making it a really good investment for people who are the outdoors type.
10. Blitzu i2
If you are buying a headlamp, it is always important that you will consider its convenience and its portability. This is exactly what you get with the Blitzu i2 headlamp. You can use it as a handy tool to get your visibility improved for those instances where you have to get both of your hands-free to get something done.
Now, you can do away with the struggle that is often involved when you have to use one of your hands to hold a flashlight since you can now have the illumination that can just be worn around your head. You can have both of your hands-free which allows you to work faster and to do your tasks more effectively. This is a lightweight lamp that will not cause you any unwanted pressure or added weight when worn on your head. It is modern and it is stylish at the same time.
Thanks to its 165 lumens, expect that this is one lamp that has the effective darkness-busting capacity that will allow you to get a visibility of even up to 60 meters. The headband is not only sporty but is reflective as well. This means that it is actually going to illuminate when worn in the dark.
The build is indestructible, making it a perfect choice for people that would actually like the idea of getting something that can obviously last them for many years to come. It is waterproof too. Since it is made from a non-toxic material, it is one device that you can even let your little kids use too.
Maximum beam distance: 325 lm./ 272 ft. (83 m.)| Weight: 3 oz. | Battery Life: 200 hrs./ 4 hrs
When it comes to outdoor equipment, Black Diamond is a renowned brand and one that has been around for many years. With an avid following, they’re likely to be around for many more!
The Spot, initially released in 2017 in the shape of a 200-lumen model was revamped in 2018 to include an impressive 300 lumens. Finally, in 2019, it underwent a complete overhaul, with the brand releasing what we now know as the Black Diamond Spot 325.
As well as an increase in power, the remodelled Spot boasts a slimmed-down unit, a new mode selector button, and a series of updated LEDs. The effect? A much more reliable unit than that of its predecessors.
With its sleek size, it can also double up as a bike light or lantern. It’s this ability to adapt that makes the Spot 325 stand out from the crowd, especially in comparison to other head-torches on the market.
It features numerous settings; including everything from a low beam for reading, to a strobe light for cycling through country lanes. The Spot 325 also comes complete with a red night-vision setting, a handy feature that prevents you from blinding others whilst on the move.
When in low mode, this headlamp boasts an impressive 200 hours of burn time. A great option for those who enjoy lengthy camping trips, as well as those who are constantly forgetting to charge their devices.
- Exceptional burn time
- Power tap technology
- High comfort rating
- Incredible brightness
- Waterproof (IPX8) rating
- Low battery detection function
- Nifty locking feature
- Runtime is shorter when using AAA batteries
Best headlamp for versatility, value and run time. It’s comfortable, streamlined, and is one of the most power-efficient and brightest headlamps on the market to date. Because of this and many other attractive features, the Spot 325 headlamp comes highly recommended.
The Spot has always proved a firm favorite in the headlamp stakes. The newest model has gone that one step further by creating a device that offers a longer burn time and an even brighter LED.
The bottom line? In comparison to competitor models, its price point makes it a great option for those looking for a quality product that offers exceptional value for money.
12. Petzl Actik Core
Maximum beam distance: 450 lm./ 295 ft. (90 m.) | Weight: 2.8 oz. | Battery Life: 130 hrs./ 2 hrs
With an impressive updated maximum power output of 450 Lumens, the Actik Core is a rechargeable headlamp with a notable burn time. It provides outstanding clarity to fans of fast-paced missions.
Thanks to the handy rechargeable Core battery unit, the Actik is a consistent performer and one that provides a maximum output for up to two hours. This device is perfectly suited to mountaineers and thrill seekers, and when max power isn’t essential, après-work dog walkers and runners.
- Sleek design
- Stands the test of time
- Exceptional user experience
- Top quality performance lighting
- Long lasting battery
- Super light
- Slightly more costly than others on the market
Even after many months of use (or abuse), this is one of the best headlamps to stand the test of ‘burn’ time – light doesn’t diminish as the battery depletes. It excels in high winds, below freezing conditions, and pounding rain! It’s an essential gadget for those on the go, enabling adventures to continue long after sun-down.
The Petzl Actik Core also boasts a handy locking feature, making it a great option for active users and people constantly on the move, whether running, cycling, or mountain climbing.
Maximum beam distance: 350 lm./ 246 ft. | Weight: 2.43 oz. | Battery Life: 4 hours.
Another top brand of headlamps is BioLite. This super sleek, lightweight option integrates an impressively low-profile 330 lumen (max output) LED light within a sweat-wicking headband, for a no-nonsense, solid yet versatile user experience. To ensure a slick fit, the micro USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery is positioned at the back of the headlamp 330.
- Ultralight – weights just 69 grams (2.43 ounces)
- Sleek design
- Wearability is second to none
- Ideal for short journeys
- Perfect for those looking for ‘one button does all’ headlamp
- One of the more basic options on the market
If your main consideration, when choosing a headlamp, is weight, you’ll be pleased to learn the BioLite 330 packs a lot of lumens into one of the lightest models on the market. It’s so sleek, you’ll be forgiven for forgetting you’re wearing it. Given that few headlamps offer this level of comfort, its wearability is one of its most celebrated features.
It’s also one of the most affordable options. Combine this with the ultimate in comfort and usability, it’s an ideal choice for crewing, camping, running, and cycling. It functions beautifully, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy – one button does all: turns the headlamp 330 on, navigates through the five beam modes, and locks the light.
Better suited to those on the move and short journeys, as opposed to camping expeditions.
14. Nitecore NU25
Maximum beam distance: 366 lm./ 266 ft. | Weight: 1 oz. | Battery Life: 160 hrs./ 5 hrs.
For gadgeteers on the go, the Nitecore NU25 is a superb option and one that comes with a list of benefits. It’s slim, lightweight, and does exactly what it says on the tin. Its low profile design is hugely popular with those looking for an ergonomically-styled headlamp that won’t get in the way.
- Great price
- Impressive battery life
- Turbo mode option
- Waterproof (IP66) rating
- Particularly wide beam
One of the best headlamps on the market when it comes to getting more bang for your buck. This incredibly lightweight headlamp has a lot going for it, including a handful of super functional features for an affordable price.
All in all, a high-quality, lightweight option that packs a punch for its relatively low price tag. You may even want to invest in a few, one for your commute and one for use around the house!
The NU25 is an ideal option for explorers looking for a lamp with a multitude of tech-savvy features, including a nifty locking feature and a battery life reader (an asset to those who need to be prompted to charge their device).
15. Petzl Tikkina
Maximum beam distance: 250 lm./ 196 ft. | Weight: 3.03 oz. | Battery Life: 120 hrs./ 2 hrs.
The Petzl Tikkina headlamp comes in the shape of a 150-lumen device, designed for campers, walkers and travellers who require a compact, lightweight light with an impressive burn time.
The Tikkina is one of the best headlamps on the market in terms of size and performance, and is likely to meet or exceed the user’s needs.
- Slightly basic design with fewer buttons and modes
The Petzl Tikkina is a low-cost, minimalist, easy-to-use yet long-lasting light companion. Considering its long burn time, it’s deemed one of the best headlamps for those on a budget.
For an impressive price, Petzl has created a no-frills headlamp that requires little skill to operate. Simply press the button once for low light, twice for medium, and three times to activate the high beam.
It’s also versatile and is able to operate with three AAA batteries or a rechargeable core battery that can be purchased as an extra for around $30. The Tikkina an ideal choice for hikers, backpackers, around the house, and emergencies.
Maximum beam distance: 1400 lm./ 396 ft. | Weight: 4.5 oz. | Battery Life: 168 hrs./ 3.1hrs.
One for the flash-aholics, the rechargeable Li-ion powered Zebralight H600w head torch boasts an impressive output of 1400 lumens. As well as three main light modes, comprising low, medium, and high beams. Notable additional extras include a strobe and beacon mode.
This tech-savvy device has many program options, including different sub-levels and brightness modes. The head torch can be switched on and off using the same power source, which also powers the desired light level.
- Exceptional battery life
- Wide bright beam
- Durable design
- USB rechargeable
- Higher price-tag
- Device suited to pros rather than those seeking a simple, no-frills gadget
The Zebralight H600w is our top pick for high performance, extreme brightness and great battery life. A rugged, vivid headlamp that packs a punch in terms of light output and burn time. The best part? All of this power is encased in a small package.
If you’re looking for a device that promises a show-stopping, evenly lit beam that lasts, the Zebralight H600w could be the perfect option for you!
Powered by a state-of-the-art rechargeable Lithium ion 18650 battery, offering 168 hours of burn time in full power mode and over one week in low-power mode, this headlamp exceeds battery life expectations.
Unlike its competitors, the developers behind the Zebralight have opted for a unique design, and although the waterproof IPX8 durable metal case may look sturdy, it’s surprisingly light.
A great choice for adventurers searching for a powerful device that will serve them well for many years, both as a headlamp and as a flashlight.
Maximum beam distance: 30 lm./ 65 ft. | Weight: 2.3 oz. | Battery Life: 60 hrs./ 3.3 hrs.
A top pick for kids, this easy-to-operate low beam headlamp boasts zero fancy features (asides from a selection of rainbow beams). A single large button turns the light on, with two clicks switching the Black Diamond Wiz to color mode. The intuitive device also memorizes the last setting and boasts a handy lock feature.
- Best headlamp for kids
- Easy to operate
- Fun rainbow color setting
- Attractive price tag.
- Not the brightest light on the market
- Not suitable for adult adventures
A great option for a range of activities like school trips and camping in the garden. The diffused light, fun color modes, and kid-proof safety features make this one of the best headlamps for children today.
The bottom line? Black Diamond have hit the nail on the head with this device, offering an affordable yet quality option that is easy to use. The lower light feature means your little ones won’t blind their siblings or friends!
18. Fenix HM50R
Maximum beam distance: 500 lm./ 860 ft. | Weight: 2.8 oz. | Battery Life: 42 hrs. / 4 hrs.
With an outer steel shell that acts as armor, the Fenix HM50R Headlamp is a well-designed, rechargeable device that boasts exceptional durability. Despite its steel casing, it weighs just three ounces, it’s also impressively water-resistant, making it a perfect option for all-weather explorers.
- Operates seamlessly in extreme conditions
- Extremely bright
- Waterproof (IP68) rating
- Available as a rechargeable option complete with a handy battery life reader
- Solid, robust metal housing
- Batteries are on the niche side
- More advanced option, which for novices, can ensue a learning curve
If you’re an avid explorer and spend the majority of your free time alpine climbing or scaling mountains, the Avenue HM50R is likely to be your cup of tea (or coffee if you prefer).
The features are second to none, and include an easy to use, large side button, allowing users to operate the device when wearing gloves, making it an ideal headlamp for cooler climes.
To add to this, the HM50R accepts CR123A batteries, which are renowned for performing in extremely low temperatures, and also comes with an everyday use rechargeable battery. The Fenix HM50R quality build and hardcore attitude is designed for equally hardcore, adrenaline-fuelled adventures.
Maximum beam distance: 275 lm./ 164 ft. | Weight: 3.7 oz. | Battery Life: 4hrs./ 2hrs.
The Black Diamond Sprinter headlamp is as powerful as it is stylish. Whether running through country lanes or blasting down technical trails, the Sprinter has you covered.
With its incredibly bright beam, dimming capability, USB rechargeable battery, and flashing red taillight, it’s a great product for those who want to see and be seen.
- Comfortable to wear for lengthy periods
- Durable design
- Impressive brightness and battery life
- Perfect for off-piste and urban hiking
- Quality craftsmanship
- Slightly higher price-tag – to be expected for an extremely specialized piece of gear.
The Black Diamond Sprinter is a great option for runners who enjoy pounding pavements. With a highly visible blinking or solid red in the back and a bright white spot beam in the front, the Sprinter makes sure you and your pathway are illuminated.
Team this with an over-the-head design that keeps the headlamp secure in place, and a rechargeable lithium ion battery that lasts up to 4 hours on bright, it’s little wonder this is a popular pick.
Maximum beam distance: 1000 lm./ 600 ft.| Weight: 4.9 oz. | Battery Life: 8 hrs. / 3.5 hrs.
The Slonik 1000 Lumen headlamp provides excellent rechargeable capabilities and good all-round performance. It’s easy-to-use, extremely portable, and a killer product for those looking for a weatherproof and dust proof headlamp.
- Waterproof and dustproof
- Rechargeable battery featuring 2200 MAH, and 220 yards beam
- 100,000-hour lifespan
- Five different levels of light
- ‘One button does all’ feature.
- No battery detector
A notable headlamp you can trust in the dark, the Slonik 1000 Lumen Rechargeable Headlamp is portable, easy to use, and less than half the price of some of its competitors.
An ideal partner for those who love to camp, hike, or run, as well as workers in the electric, engineering, and construction industry.
Despite not featuring a battery detector, the battery life is one of its best features. Providing you recharge the headlamp after longer trips, we doubt you’ll ever run out of juice.
Maximum beam distance: 200 lm./ 118 ft.| Weight: 3.5 oz. | Battery Life: 130 hrs./ 40 hrs.
This versatile device boasts three gadgets in one; a headlamp, a bike light, and a hanging lantern. Simply switch the headlamp housing for the handlebar mount or carabiner (both accessories come included as standard).
Featuring low, high, and strobe modes, all activated at the touch of a button, it’s a great option for bikers, runners, and walkers alike. It’s also ideal for less tech-savvy individuals.
- Extremely versatile
- Multiple mount options
- Lengthy battery life
- 200-lumen LED is bright enough to spot objects 120 feet in the distance
- Ideal for walkers and runners
- Maximum output is slightly dimmer than other market options
The Princeton Tech Snap is an ideal option for those searching for a headlamp tailored to an assortment of activities. The additional mounts can be fitted to bikes, tents, and backpacks. The mounts can also be left in place, which makes switching the light a hassle-free procedure.
Another notable feature the Snap headlamp offers is its ability to stick to metal surfaces, via a magnetic component. The bottom line, the Snap is a pleasing hands-free product that can move as freely as you do.
What are the benefits of using a headlamp?
Whether an avid explorer wishing to take to the wilderness after dark, an all-weather cyclist, or a keen runner, there are many reasons why you might want to invest in a sturdy headlamp. But before you make a purchase, it’s a good idea to consider the following:
We understand how difficult it can be to find trustworthy advice when it comes to the safety of headlamps. To help you, we’ve put together a list of what to look out for. Firstly, pick a lamp that allows you to see and be seen.
Whether you’re out on the water, cycling down a country lane in the dead of night, a trail runner, mountaineer, or dog walker, lighting your way and making yourself know is crucial to your safety.
The performance and quality of a head torch is paramount to this, which is why it’s important to opt for a reputable brand.
A headlamp that has been designed well should house several features, including the option to adjust the strap – this is necessary to ensure the light sits securely without putting too much pressure on your forehead. Most importantly, it means your headlamp won’t fall off when running, hiking, or partaking in any other physical activity.
Quality headlamps that boast more balance and less bouncing tend to distribute the weight between the back and the front. This is especially important for those picking a lamp with a larger battery pack.
Try to pick a brand created out of soft, yet durable sweat-wicking fabric to heighten comfort and prevent slippage. This is key if you’re very active.
Headlamps designed with quality materials in mind tend to be more durable, withstanding constant use, weather, and general wear and tear. To ensure you’re picking a long-lasting headlamp, opt for a design with a high IPX rating.
Headlamps claiming to be waterproof must show a valid IP Code, which confirms to users how protected the device is against dust, water, and electrical component damage.
For most, especially those investing in a headlamp for backpacking and hiking activities, the main concern is choosing a product that is weather-resistant (IPX4).
If you require a product that is resistant to a lot of water, shock, and dust, opt for a model with a rating of IPX8 or IPX7. As an example of this, IPX7 headlamps are waterproof for up to 30 minutes in one meter, whilst IPX8 designs can be submerged for longer.
Our Buyers guide to Choosing Headlamps
When it comes to choosing the best headlamps for your needs, as well as personal preference and lifestyle, there are several factors you should take into consideration.
The beam quality is a top consideration! When researching headlamps, one of the first things you should do is check the lumens and the beam distance specifications. These are the two features that will help you to determine how bright a headlamp is.
Those looking for a headlamp to guide them on dark trails at night will require a device with a longer beam distance and a higher lumen count. If your sole purpose for a headlamp is to walk the dog or for home use, a lower lumen count will work just as well.
As well as bright light, other factors to consider include devices with single lamps offering a consistent beam, as well as more advanced options, which feature a setting for flood and spot lights. Some headlamps even allow you to combine the beam patterns for maximum brightness.
In terms of casting the light farther afield, a spot light is a great option and one that will illuminate the trail directly in front of you. If peripheral vision is key, choosing a device that boasts a flood light feature is a must, as it will diffuse the beam, spraying light to the sides in equal measure.
The better the battery life, the longer the battery will be able to sustain your headlamp’s light without recharging or without you having to replace batteries.
Using your light sensibly and on the lowest setting will help to prolong the burn time, the run time and the battery life. For example, switch to the lowest setting when it’s not quite dark or you’re completing a task that only requires a little light.
Non-rechargeable batteries like AAA batteries, although they last slightly longer, tend to be more expensive and create more waste. They’re a good option for extended backcountry trips but in terms of short journeys, a rechargeable battery is a better option.
For headlamps that necessitate standard batteries, opt for Lithium over Alkaline. The latter tend to offer a short battery life and less burn time.
Disposable batteries, although they will last slightly longer, their energy output will gradually decrease over time. The bottom line? Your light will slowly get dimmer over time.
Rechargeable batteries, like lithium ion options, tend to boast a shorter burn time with a high energy output. This lasts as long as they do, providing a stable amount of light until it is time to replace them.
Although you won’t have to replace them often, this is something to keep in mind.
A long-lasting headlamp is more cost-effective than a cheaper option that you have to replace several months down the line. It’s therefore important to do your research.
Whether you opt for the middle of the road or top of the range products, durability is a key factor to take into consideration. This concerns everything from the battery life, to the products casing, to the fabric used to create the headband.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors in cooler climates, choosing a product that is weather resistant is a must. To determine which headlamps feature worthy test results, check the ratings.
IPX4 means weather-resistant, IPX7 and IPX8 are waterproof.
For most, weight plays a huge part in the buying process. Many buyers prefer to invest in the lightest headlamp, as opposed to a product that requires some serious manpower to carry around. However, this does depend on where and how you will be using the device, as well as the power required.
If you’re shopping for a basic light, a minimalist headlamp will do the job. For those who require an extra powerful light, it’s worth the extra weight – bigger batteries weigh more.
Luckily the majority of headlamps we have recommended, including the Black Diamond, are some of the lightest on the market (usually 3 oz. or less) and all boast a good 100-lumen mode and a long burn time.
Pick a headlamp that matches your lifestyle (and style). If you’re an avid runner or hiker, you’ll need to opt for a lightweight light with a sweat-resistant band and one that promises to stay in place when you’re on the move.
Ease of use
If you’re into high-tech headlamps, choosing a lamp with a multitude of suave features like the Black Diamond Spot 325 is a great option. For those looking to invest in something that is easy to use and provides a simple design, the Actik or Petzl Tikkini may be more up your street.
Lamps featuring a single button instead of several setting options are ideal choices for those who are less technically minded.
Users can use this single button to control the beam pattern, brightness levels and the spot and flood features. Whether they’re around camp, on a hike or cycling to and from work, controlling the beam can also increase the burn time.
The bottom line, lamps boasting a ‘one button does all’ feature are popular with customers looking for a device that is very easy to use. The Princeton Tec is a good example of this.
What are headlamps used for?
headlights, like the Tikkina, Princeton Tec Snap and several of Black Diamond’s offerings come in a range of sizes and designs.
In a nutshell, a headlamp is a light source that you fix to your head to help you navigate various outdoor activities, such as running, walking, biking or caving. All of these activities can be enjoyed at night or in dark conditions with the right light.
Headlamps, such as the Black Diamond and the Petzl Actik Core, are also often used in adventure races.
What are lumens?
In simple terms, Lumens (lm) are a measure of the total sum of visible light (to the human eye) from a light source, such as a headlamp. The higher the rating of lumens, the brighter the headlamp will appear.
How many lumens are good headlamps?
100 to 150 lumens should be sufficient for most campers, bikers, hikers, and trailers’ needs, but for activities like route-finding, caving, and scrambling at night or in the dark, buyers can think about investing in a more powerful headlamp featuring 300 lumens or more.
One point to note when considering lumens is that two lights with exactly the same lumens can pro offer an entirely different light quality. It all comes down to the lens system, the beam width and the optical quality.
After testing many lamps, lumens have been determined to be an unreliable source when making performance comparisons. Beam distance is often a much better indicator in terms of test results. Look for products offering a high number in both specs.
What is the best power source to have on a headlamp?
As headlights are utilized for numerous activities, allowing athletes and workers to safely perform a variety of tasks in the dark, it’s important to pick an option that lasts as long as you do.
To ensure optimal performance from your headlamp and long battery life, you must consider the power source that best suits your needs. There are two options to choose from, disposable or rechargeable.
The superiority of one over the other depends on where and for how long you intend to use your headlamp.
There are several factors to keep in mind when choosing a power source or battery pack, these include:
- brightness levels
- burn time
- short battery life
- Ease of use
- maximum performance
- cold weather
- size and weight
- run time
- AAA batteries
- ion battery
- light output
- USB charging
- waterproof rating
- battery saving mode / lowest setting
Different types of light mode
Depending on what you intend to use your light for, certain light modes and brightness settings will come into play in various scenarios. These include:
Red light utilizes very little energy and prevents your pupils from dilating at night. The red light mode is great for camp chores, as it won’t wake others up or attract flying insects.
This is a great light mode to use when biking, hiking or running along dark roads and pathways. Asides from notifying cars and other people of your whereabouts, it can also be used to create an emergency signal or beam pattern.
This mode offers focused, condensed bright light, perfect for highlighting objects in the distance. It’s a great light choice for night hiking, spotting climbing anchors, looking for trail signs, or using it as a spot and flood bike headlight.
Often referred to as ‘proximity mode’ low flood light helps to preserve battery power and produces a softer, wider beam of dim light. It is used to view nearby objects or to direct light downwards. Ideal for camping adventures, when cooking, setting up tents, or night hiking.
What headlamps do the military use?
Many headlamps for both military police include the Streamlight 61304 ProTac HL Tactical LED Headlamp or the PETZL – STRIX VL Headlamp. Both can withstand extreme conditions and offer a variety of handy features in use.
they also feature solid outer casing, which is advisable in this industry, as it will avoid regular product replacements and damage.
What is the best rechargeable headlamp?
If you’re looking for an ultralight headlamp that comes complete with a long-lasting rechargeable battery, the BioLite 300 is a great option. This super sleek, lightweight device integrates an impressively low-profile 330 lumen (max output) LED light with a 246 feet beam distance.
Other options offering a similar performance include the Black Diamond Spot and the Actik Core.
With a solid 4 hours of battery life in full power mode and an impressive 200 hours of power in low power mode, the Black Diamond headlamp is a great rechargeable battery option for those looking to invest in a light for lengthy excursions including camp trips, hikes, and mountain expeditions. It is also a must for those who are constantly forgetting to charge their devices.
For best results, always take an additional power supply with you on longer trips or a backup lamp.
Are headlamps waterproof?
The simple answer to this? Some are and some aren’t. It is important to understand that water-resistant is not the same as waterproof.
If you’re wondering how waterproof a headlamp is, look at the IPX rating, also known as the Ingress Protection Rating.
IPX4 means weather-resistant, IPX7 and IPX8 are waterproof. Once you understand the ratings, think about where you intend to use the device.
What batteries do headlamps use?
Primary non-rechargeable lithium batteries are a popular choice for non-rechargeable headlamps. These can be purchased online, at grocery stores, as well as at several pharmacies.
For rechargeable lights, one of the best brands to consider is Eneloop AAAs. However, most devices will come with rechargeable batteries, which can be charged via a USB or power bank.
Are Black Diamond headlamps waterproof?
If you intend to expose your headlamp to some serious outdoor use and lots of exposure to the elements, it is extremely important to factor in the weather resistance of your headlamp.
Some cheaper variants offer little to no resistance, which can lead to damage and ultimately, a replacement headlamp.
Many mid-range to high-end models offer a great deal more protection from the elements.
The majority of Black Diamond products are waterproof, this does however depend on the model you choose. Before purchasing the lamp, check the Ingress Protection Rating. IPX4 means weather-resistant, whist IPX7 and IPX8 ratings are waterproof.
The weather worthiness of headlights (and other electronic devices)is tested using an IP rating scale: on the low end, IPX0 equates to zero protection, while models with a rating of IPX8 can withstand prolonged immersion.
As well as Black Diamond, another high-performance pick is the Fenix HL60R, which comes with an impressive IPX8 rating. This means it will truck on even after being submerged underwater for 30 minutes.
The majority of the headlamps featured in our guide are at least water-resistant or certified to a minimum rating of IPX4, which is substantial enough to handle rain and snow.
The bottom line? If you plan to spend a great deal of time exposed to the elements, research the IP rating of your headlamp before making a purchase. The higher the rating, the better!
Are rechargeable headlamps worth it?
If you are someone who never has a supply of AAA batteries at home then yes. Especially in terms of ease-of-use and convenience. Simply plug the lamp into charge before it is needed and you are good to go.
Rechargeable headlights boast several great features – they’re cost-effective in the long run, they’re a great option for eco-warriors as they contribute less waste and are therefore better for the environment, and the lighting output tends to be more consistent.
Are Energizer headlamps good?
Energizer lamps boast optimal brightness and the quality of light is second to none. Overall, this model of headlamp comes highly recommendable, especially in terms of build quality and LED performance. A great all-round option.
What is the best headlamp on the market?
If you want the most bang for your buck, both the Black Diamond Spot 365 and the Petzl Actik Core are top choices in 2021. Both offer a range of features suited to runners, cyclists, hikers, campers, and hardcore explorers.
The Black Diamond Spot is comfortable, streamlined, and is one of the brightest and most power-efficient headlamps on the market today. It’s also extremely cost-effective.
The Petzl Actik Core headlamp is similarly placed in the headlamp stakes in that it offers an impressive updated max power output of 450 Lumens. The output certainly gives that ‘wow’ factor and offers outstanding clarity to fans of fast-paced missions.
However, the right headlamp for you may be the wrong one for someone else. When considering the various options on the market, think about your lifestyle and when, where, and how long you intend to use the headlamp for, and in what conditions.
This will help you find an option that offers all the features you (personally) require. It will also ensure you buy a cost-effective headlamp in the perfect price bracket for your needs.
What features to look for in a head torch?
Red-light mode is one of the more useful features you will see. If you enjoy activities like cooking over a stove or reading a map, it’s a good idea to invest in a lamp with a red light feature.
This light mode also promises to keep the battery alive for longer. In emergency mode, it can be used to notify others of danger or as a cry for help. A great one to pack if you are travelling alone, or venturing to extreme conditions.
The majority of LED head torches listed boast a high and low mode feature, which is an asset to battery life. Some models also feature adjustable power levels and beams. When you using your lamp, use it in accordance to the situation. For example, you don’t need to operate it on full beam at dusk.
What is an LED?
LED stands for Light-Emitting Diode. This light technology works by using a semiconductor to produce light.
They are used across a range of industries including the computer and car sector.
Their main claim to fame? They are more energy-efficient and smaller than other electric lights. They also go through rigorous tester processes every year to ensure they meet consistent standards.
In terms of headtorches, white-light LEDs have become the gold standard. Another benefit they offer over other lamps is their brightness and versatility. They also last a great deal longer than standard bulbs, which means you will seldom have to replace them.
What to look for when buying a flashlight?
Flashlights offer an array of similar features to the products we have already mentioned, with many models working in a similar way.
When searching for the perfect flashlight, consider the essentials. These include choosing a product that features multiple power settings (complete with spot light mode), an adjustable beam and one-button use.
An adjustable beam will increase your flashlight’s versatility in a massive way. The bottom line? Ease of use should be your buzzword when buying flashlights.
Should I buy a headlamp for running?
If you have ever run at night, you will understand how important lighting your way is. This is not only for your benefit but for the benefit of others around you.
That is why many say a good running headlamp is worth its weight in gold, especially if you’re tackling country lanes in the winter, where there are little or no street lamps.
So what should you look for in a headlamp for running?
The best running headlamp models will be both streamlined and lightweight, built with a minimal bounce in mind. They should also feature a well-balanced beam that lights up the path ahead and your immediate surroundings.
Many headlamp devices designed for runners feature red light taillights for visibility on the road and additional safety. These look like reflective markings on the band.
Black Diamond’s Sprinter is a great choice for avid night runners. Its running-focused design boasts an impressive lumen count (275) and a high quality strap to ensure the band stays in place whilst you’re on the move.
Good headlights for a hiker
The Tikkina is a versatile light tool that operates with either three AAAs or a rechargeable CORE battery. This can be purchased for around $30. For its price and functionality, this is a good option for hiking and backpacking trips, as well as for use around the home or around camp.
The Tikkina is a great tester lamp for those looking to invest in their first headtorch. It’s not too expensive yet still boasts a quality product, and is a great gadget to put in your tool box!
Best lamp for versatility?
Nitecore NU25 Several of the high tech modes automatically step down to avoid overheating, whilst the high mode (190 lm.) offers the perfect level of brightness for various escapades, including camping, trails, backpacking trips, and even home use (a great tool to grab if you’re venturing to the garden shed after hours or down to the basement).
It’s also a good option to keep in your car or work bag, you never know when you will need extra light!
What is the Revolt?
With an awesome, newly revamped modular, which features a handy rechargeable power pack (BD 1800), the BD ReVolt 350 comes in the shape of a versatile, powerful, and rechargeable lamp.
This model has undergone a complete overhaul, with the new device featuring an impressive light display of 350 lumens. The user interface has also been updated with a second control button, to ensure seamless lens operation.
Furthermore, the heightened capability of the optical display boasts a light show that is far superior, with a much higher intensity. Users can also track battery life via the three-LED, six-setting battery tracker.
This ReVolt model is a great option for late-night ramblers. This is mainly down to the proximity lighting feature, which ensures a large light expanse for hikers tackling difficult trails.
The brightness Memory is another handy feature, which allows users to set the light’s display when they initially turn the equipment on, whilst PowerTap Technology allows for ease-of-use and highly manageable light adjustment modes.
This model can be powered using AAA batteries as standard or via the BD 1800 rechargeable power pack, which comes with the purchase.
For those instances where you need to have both of your hands free to work on something, it is always handy to have a source of illumination that you can just pop on your head. Headlamps have become a necessity for these kinds of activities as they make things considerably convenient.
We are hoping that the details above should make it easier for you to choose those headlamps that will suit your needs very well. You have a lot of options to select from. So, take the time to get to know each of them to allow you to choose better.